10th Annual Winter Symposium “Decade of the Developing Brain”

WinterSymposiumThe Children’s Environmental Health Center hosted its 10th Annual Winter Symposium, “Decade of the Developing Brain” on February 24th, 2017 at The New York Academy of Medicine.

Physicians and researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discussed how early-life stress can disrupt development and negatively impact long-term health trajectories. The symposium featured talks on environmental and genetic factors and how they contribute to the etiology of autism and neurodevelopment toxicity associated with environmental chemicals.

Did you miss the “Decade of the Developing Brain”? Click here to access the presentations, photos and videos.

February 2017: Dr. Manish Arora recepient of President Obama’s “Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)”


Congrats to our P30 Center Member, Dr. Manish Arora, on being one of the 102 scientists and researchers that were recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

January 2017: Mayah’s Lot


Our Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) partnered with stakeholder advisory board member Rebecca Bratspies of CUNY Law School’s Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER) to produce a short animated film based on Mayah’s Lot, an environmental justice themed graphic novel. The story follows a young hero/protagonist, Mayah, who takes action to prevent  the dumping of toxic waste in her neighborhood. To watch Mayah’s Lot click here.

December 2016: Mayah’s Lot screened at NIEHS Film Festival


Far Left: Rebecca Bratspies, CUNY Law; Second to the Left: Luz Guel, COEC Project Coordinator

Mount Sinai’s Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) of the Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures (TCEEE) partnered with stakeholder advisory board member Rebecca Bratspies of CUNY Law School’s Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER) to produce a short animated film based on Mayah’s Lot, an environmental justice themed graphic novel. Mayah’s Lot serves as an educational tool for youth who live in communities burdened by environmental injustices. It follows the story of the young hero/protagonist, Mayah, who takes action to mobilize community members and prevent the dumping of toxic waste in their neighborhood. On December 7, 2016 Mayah’s Lot was screened at the NIEHS Film Festival. The film festival showcased environmental health focused videos developed by grantees, community partners, federal partners, and NIEHS staff. Rebecca Bratspies from CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform and Luz Guel our Project Coordinator for the COEC answered questions about the environmental justice chronicles and shared their experience on the importance of collaborations.

To watch the full video please click here.

November 2016: Dr. Alison Sanders recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Service Award

Pictured Above: Bottom Right; Dr. Alison Sanders

Congratulations to Dr. Alison Sanders, P30 Center Trainee, and the Postdoc Executive Committee (PEC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) for being the recipient of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) 2017 Distinguished Service Award (DSA). The DSA represents appreciation for an individual or entity that has demonstrated either a profound, sustained, or leadership contribution to improving the postdoctoral experience. This year the award will be presented at the 15th Annual Meeting, hosted by the University of California System, March 17-19, 2017.


October 2016: P30 Center Members and Trainees Recognized for their Environmental Health Work


Top Left: Dr. Philip Landrigan; Middle: Dr. Mary Wolff; Top Right: Dr. Alison Sanders

Congratulations to our three P30 center members and trainees for their awards!

Dr. Philip Landrigan was awarded the first-ever Champion of Environmental Health Research Award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The champion awards recognize outstanding researchers, leaders, and communicators that have contributed to the NIEHS mission to discover how the environment affects people in order to promote healthier lives.

Dr. Mary Wolff was awarded the 2016 Dr. Jerome J. Wesolowski Award from the International Society of Exposure Science for sustained and outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of human exposure assessment. Dr. Wolff has a distinguished career in public health and continues the effort to emphasize the importance of appropriate use of exposure biomarkers, and to urge researchers to avoid inappropriate application of technologically feasible measurements.

Dr. Alison Sanders is a recipient of the 2016 New York Academy of Sciences From Scientist to CSO Award. As a winner of this award, Dr. Sanders will be able to attend the From Scientist to CSO course, a professional development course for scientists and engineers that helps develop business skills, including communications, performance management, and team building.

Once again, congrats to our P30 Center members and trainees for their contributions!

September 2016: P30 Center Members Awarded Major NIH Grant for Environmental Child Health Research


Top Left: Dr. Robert Wright; Middle: Dr. Rosalind Wright; Top Right: Dr. Susan Teitelbaum

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Wright and Dr. Rosalind Wright, P30 Center Members, have been awarded more than $9 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the effects of a broad range of environmental exposures on children’s long-term health from near the time of conception through adolescence. Additionally, Susan Teitelbaum, PhD, Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at ISMMS and P30 Center Member, and Judy Aschner, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and University Chair of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will collaborate on another aspect of the ECHO study focusing on exposure to chemicals in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The grant is part of the seven-year, multi-institute initiative called Environmental Influence on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). Dr. Robert Wright explains, “ECHO will make a huge impact in public health, as it is becoming clearer that the environment we experience as children has a major influence on our health as adults…Understanding the role of environment and health in children helps all of us, regardless of age.” Congratulations again to our P30 Center Members Dr. Robert Wright, Dr. Rosalind Wright, and Susan Teitlebaum, Ph.D! The grant is highlighted in Mount Sinai’s Press Release page.

August 2016: Spotlight on Emerging Science


We are excited to launch our first Emerging Science video, highlighting Dr. Alison P. Sanders’ recent work on epigenetics, prenatal exposures, and preterm birth. A press release describing this research is available here, and you can find two publications on PubMed here and here. Dr. Sanders is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Preventive Medicine, and a trainee in our NIEHS P30 Center. In addition to her research in The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory, Dr. Sanders leads several education initiatives, including The Future Leaders in Science Education and Communication Training Program and an afterschool science program for East Harlem fifth graders at the Boys & Girls Harbor.

July 2016: COEC Partners Collaborate for Teacher Training on Citizen Science & Social Justice


Course leaders and participants, including COEC community advisory board members and leadership. Included in this photo are COEC staff: Dr. Maida Galvez and Rachel Manning; CELF staff: Alan Cass, Aimee Arandia Østensen and Katie Ginsberg; CUER/CUNY staff: Rebecca Bratspies.


Top left: Dr. Alison Sanders, P30 Trainee; Top right: Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, NYC DEP; Bottom left: participants doing a hands-on activity led by Dr. Sanders; Bottom right: Rebecca Bratspies, CUNY Law (COEC board member)

image 2 CELF

Left: Michelle Ramos, Mount Sinai; Right: Dr. Maida Galvez, Mount Sinai (COEC Co-Director)


From July 12-14, Mount Sinai COEC staff and community advisory board members led a three-day course titled “Citizen Science and Social Justice in Your Neighborhood,” a professional development session for elementary, middle and high school teachers. This three-day course brought together experts in environmental health, law and policy, environmental protection, and education to help teachers incorporate citizen science and environmental health topics into their classroom lessons. Several investigators from Mount Sinai’s P30 Center participated, as well as COEC partners from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF), and The Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER) of CUNY Law School. COEC staff and community board members presented on topics including pediatric environmental health, health data tools, DNA replication, epigenetics, preterm birth, and environmental justice. This course was developed and facilitated by the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, and the sessions were hosted at both CUNY Law School and Mount Sinai. To view more information about the course, including presenter profiles and course outline, please click here.

June 2016: Dr. Galvez Interviewed on ABC’s The Chew


From left to right: Sasha Walek (Associate Director of Media at Mount Sinai), Dr. Maida Galvez (Pediatrician at Mount Sinai), Mario Batali, and Rachel Manning (COEC Project Coordinator at Mount Sinai)

On June 2, Dr. Maida Galvez was interviewed by Mario Batali of ABC’s The Chew at PS 206 in East Harlem. Dr. Galvez discussed the significance of food insecurity, childhood nutrition, and the role school meals can play in helping children form healthy eating habits from an early age. The interview was filmed in the cafeteria while students ate lunch, and members of the Department of Education were present as well. This was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate on a multidisciplinary effort to support children’s health. The episode will be aired in September 2016.


Mario Batali interviews Dr. Galvez on school meals, childhood nutrition, and food security


Left to right: Dr. Galvez, Mario Batali, and a NYC Department of Education representative